It sounds barbaric – sticking needles into your delicate facial skin, ‘vampire’ facials that inject blood around your eyes and lasers that penetrate the epidermis. Is it true that beauty is pain? And do these treatments actually work? We got under the skin with Sam Keim, Owner of Skin Matters and registered nurse.
As we head into spring, we all want our glow back. Winter might make us pale and interesting, but spring and summer are about freshness, radiance and glow.
So how does causing trauma to the skin actually make us more beautiful? Sam says, “It’s called the wound healing response – when you create a wound, in the process of healing you stimulate fibroblasts which are responsible for making collagen.”
While it sounds scary, Sam says, “Everything we do is controlled wounding. Every treatment is tailored to the individual – genetic history, skin type, your level of sun protection – all of these factors affect how far you can go with certain treatments without causing scarring or discolouration (post-trauma pigmentation. It’s a fine line to create a wound for benefit, without a side effect.”
Whether you’re novice or pro, Sam gives us her top tips on treating three major skin concerns:
Beginner – Omnilux LED Medical Light Therapy
“Omnilux is a technologically based, science backed, simple introduction to collagen production. It stimulates collagen, evens skin tone and gives you a great glow. You can use it all the time, there is no downtime and it gives a great benefit without wound induction.” But, she notes, you need the right machine. “There are a lot of LED machines out there but not all of them produce enough energy to generate a biological change in the skin.” Do your research ladies, pick a qualified practitioner and ask about the specific equipment they use. Expect to pay: $85 per session /$750 pack of 10
Advanced – CIT (Collagen Induction Technique, otherwise known as skin needling)
“Microfine needles puncture the skin to a depth of .75mm to 1mm. The skin is numbed first, there is no pain and every skin type can use it.”. CIT has mild downtime – you might look a little sunburned the next day or experience some very mild flaking in the days after, which can easily be covered with makeup. Sam says while there are a number of CIT practitioners in the marketplace, the difference is the depth of dermal penetration, the quality of the equipment and the ability to apply topic anaesthetic. This is where going to a registered nurse pays dividends! Expect to pay: $249
Beginner – AHA Peel
Alpha Hydroxy Acid peels are a blend of lactic, glycolic and mandelic acids. Requiring a course of treatments to get maximum benefit, Sam says these work brilliantly in conjunction with Omnilux. Expect a tingly sensation during treatment and brighter, even skin afterwards. Expect to pay: $105
Advanced – Permea from Clear + Brilliant
A mini fractionated laser, Sam says, “Micro channels are created in the skin with laser. You can expect tightening of your pores and brighter skin with minimal risk.” Depending on your level of pigmentation, you might experience a slightly muddy complexion for a few days afterwards, which can be covered with makeup. Sam says Permea has a very mild downtime for its level of efficacy. A series of 3-6 treatments yields optimal results. Expect to pay: $399 or $660 for pack of 3
Beginner – IPL Facial
For rejuvenation, even skin tone and texture, a slight tightening and firming effect, go for the IPL Facial. Settings can be adjusted from light to advanced so talk to your practitioner about tailoring your treatment. Expect to pay: $180
Advanced – PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma, also known as the Vampire Facial)
This sounds horrible but is actually completely safe. Blood is drawn from your own body, centrifuged to separate white and red blood cells, then the remaining plasma and platelets are injected into treatment areas (your skin is numbed first). Great for fine or crepey skin, this one’s gold for eyes, neck and décolletage but can be used for the entire face also. One caveat though – this is using your own blood for beauty. The healthier you are, the better your blood, the greater the result. If you’ve been running on empty, Sam recommends seeing a nutritionist to boost your health before you boost your face. Expect to pay: $399 per treatment area
Ultimately, Sam says the best way to shine on this spring is simple – apply sun protection, use quality products and look after yourself. But if you want to boost what nature and motherhood takes out, it might be time to get under the skin.